Thousands of Marawi war victims struggling to meet basic needs
MARAWI CITY – Some 81,000 victims of war in Marawi are still struggling to meet their basic needs that include water, food, sanitation and education – barely a year after security forces defeated ISIS militants who laid siege to the Muslim city in Lanao del Sur province in southern Philippines.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which has assisted more than 100,000 people displaced by the armed conflict in Marawi and the Philippine Red Cross are also working with local authorities to aid the affected communities, particularly with clean water.
And nearly a year now, the ICRC has been delivering water to some 400 families at the Saguiaran evacuation center.
Just recently, the ICRC also finished building a system that will regularly supply clean water for the evacuees who face prolonged displacement. “Water is closely linked to public health. Waterborne diseases such as diarrhea and cholera, as well as sanitation issues, can be prevented if there is regular supply of potable water,” said Alessandro Giusti, head of the ICRC water and sanitation team in the Philippines.
Two new generator sets were recently donated to the Marawi City Water District to guarantee a regular supply during unexpected power outages. The generators kept two pumping stations functional during the initial phase of residents’ return, before the power supply was restored, according to Giusti.